BUS 100 (71890)
November 8, 2018
Going into this interview, I knew I wanted to focus on an area of business that I personally have used, or will use in the future. For this interview, I approached business owner Kelly Barolong, of “Makeup Artistry By Kelly.” She specializes in makeup and eyelash extensions. I have used Kelly's services before and was excited to hear her open up about what goes on behind the scenes in this type of industry.
1. Why did you want to go into business for yourself?
· I decided to go into business for myself as I liked the idea of being my own boss and the flexibility of creating my own schedule by working on it on my time and terms.
2. How did your career in this industry begin?
· I always had a passion for makeup so in 2011 I began this journey and decided to get makeup- certified as well as become MAC certified as that is a huge company in the makeup world. In 2015 when the eyelash industry began to take off I decided to take my shot at it and learn how to do them and fell in love with doing them. I now also teach people on how to apply them.
3. How has the business treated you and what challenges have come up that you have had to face?
· I knew going into this industry it was competitive and that it would be challenging, however, it ended up being more challenging in ways I for one wasn't expecting. For this career field, you have to be able to build up your own clientele and a portfolio. It took a little longer than I wanted to gain customers but it eventually paid off. In recent years, I owe Instagram to helping me grow my business and clientele as getting my work out there has been easier.
4. I know you are the sole owner and worker of your business, why did you choose it to be this?
· I wanted to do this business as a sole proprietorship solely because I knew coming into this industry as a new business it was the simplest way to form my eyelash business mostly. It is also a perk that I get to have the flexibility to manage it the way I want to. I also work a full time job so to work on my own terms has been a blessing. It also helps for when it comes to taxes as it is less, this decision is, in my opinion, the best way to start a one-man business.
5. Along with being a business owner, and working a full time job, you are also a mom. How do you manage it all?
To be honest here, alcohol definitely helps! Jokes aside, I manage it simply by finding a balance of home life and work life. Let me tell you, it is definitely not easy and whoever says it is all the props to you because it is tough. It is hard being a new business while trying to maintain being a mom at the same time. In the beginning, the business required a majority of my attention as expected, so having my husband support me and help step in as “mom” during all this was amazing. But to sum everything up, balance is the answer to everything! I had to find it in order to be able to succeed.
6. Since you make your own schedule, how long do you focus on this business?
· I spend anywhere 25- 35 hours on this business as I do it after I come from work and on the weekends. Since I am still gaining clients and growing I do this business as more of something that I do on the side for now.
7. I know you only have one kid which is a boy, but if you were to have another and it would be a girl would you like to pass down this to her?
· As amazing as it sounds to hopefully have a daughter in the future I don't think this is something I would keep in this family because I want my children to do what they are interested in and this might not be it! Plus I can be a bit of a micro-manager and I doubt my children would enjoy that. I do however help others start in this industry. I taught my cousin how to apply lashes and now she runs her own business in San Diego.
8. What makes you different than your competitors in work ethic?
· For me going into business I knew it had to be something I was serious about and could handle the disappointment if this didn't work out. I had to be prepared to fail but knew I wouldn't give up or end the business if I didn't try my hardest and best as cliché as that sounds. I went into this business not for the money but for my love of cosmetics and the passion I have for it. It gives me so much excitement when a client expresses their satisfaction in the work I have done. It gives me a sign that I can do this and I can help people achieve the looks they want. It truly is the little things that happen to make this business for me all worth it.
9. Your prices are fairly reasonable, how are you able to maintain your prices low compared to competitors and their high prices.
· As I said before, I am not in it for the money but I do have to be smart to make a profit and be able to afford my supplies. Another factor that helps me keep the prices low is that my studio is in the comfort of my own home. Besides the equipment of buying what I needed to make it, there is no extra cost and bills that would come if I owned an actual studio.
10. Finally, what do you hope to achieve or what is your main goal at the end of all this?
· A big deal to me was that I was happy and enjoying what I do. I already have a job where I get stressed and at times do not want to be at. With starting this business I wanted to make sure that I never would feel this way because this was my happy place and my comfort. I genuinely love what I do and hope I get to do it for years to come. I want to gain more exposure obviously and build a bigger clientele with hopefully being able to do this full time. For now, I am happy and continuing to work in my home but potentially open my own studio to do this. That, however, is not on my bucket list for a while, maybe in the next couple of years but for now, I am happy with the way everything is. Being my own boss has its challenges but I have learned a lot about myself and what I can do. I owe this business a thank you for teaching me how to be patient and the goal to succeed is to make sure you are happy doing what you love and that the customers are always happy and first. Without them, I wouldn't be able to do what I do.
A key point to this interview was that I wanted to make sure I could relate to the industry because I wanted to be able to connect with what Kelly had to say. Luckily, when hearing Kelly talk about this business and her passion it made it easier to understand the business and the drive I was talking to my friend about what business I should focus on and she said: “Why not focus on Kelly?” I thought it was a great idea because Kelly is someone who I have gone to for eyelash extension services and I was very impressed with the results. For the record, my satisfaction with her work is me not playing favoritism! The proof is in the work she does and publishes online. I love the makeup industry so when this assignment came up I was excited to reach out to someone who works in an industry that I consider to be one of my favorites. As of right now, I am focused on working in the business department side for corporations, but because makeup is a passion of mine, it was interesting to learn the business side of it. It opened my eyes to something I could potentially see myself being involved with if my path crosses that way in the future.
In today's world, people market and advertise through social media, which is what Kelly does. She uses Instagram to promote her services and shows her work by posting pictures of her clients, which helps attract new customers. Since Instagram is a popular app that many people use every day, it is a smart technique to reach more potential clients. Many people in our society use it constantly, so by using it as a business tool, it lures a following and gets her work out to the public for other people to see. It uses word of mouth and allows new people to be introduced to her. With this marketing technique in general, it has allowed a whole new crowd of people and generation for people to find businesses and use their services, Kelly included. Kelly has been able to run her business for the past few years with the convenience of doing everything on her own schedule and in the comfort of her home. Kelly built an eyelash studio inside her home where clients can relax and feel the comfort of being glammed up in the process. Kelly is a local makeup artist in the town of Temecula and she is gaining a following of clients. She has over 600 followers on Facebook (MakeupArtistryByKellyB), and close to 900 on Instagram (Kelybmua). For being a local artist, that is quite a following for beginning in 2011 as a makeup artist, and starting as an eyelash specialist in 2015.
Eyelash extensions are becoming a huge market as many celebrities are getting them, as well as everyday people. This trend has become even more popular because it helps eliminate the time and frustration it takes to put on fake lashes. In 1916, Director D.W. Griffith created the world of eyelash extensions. He had a vision for his lead star, Seena Owen, for the film “Intolerance.” To create the look he was going for, Griffith worked with a wig designer to fulfill his dream. After this was introduced, many salons began to offer them to clients in 1930. Then in the 1960s, false eyelashes became a bigger market and were being made in many different forms and with different products, which is where human hair lash extensions began. Taking us to present day, it has now become an everyday look, because it has become more popular and affordable (Glad Lash, www.eyelash extensions.com.) Getting extensions, depending on how you like them, can range from one whole strip to individual lashes. For individual lashes, which is what Kelly specializes in, they have to be applied with a special glue and attach to your real lashes and to parts where lashes are empty so they blend in. It is a very tedious process for the specialist as they have to be patient and focused at all times. The bright side is that they look amazing afterward. For those unfamiliar with eyelash extensions or (false eyelashes) to some, it is the same process as getting Acrylic (fake nails) when it comes to keeping them maintained and looking good.You have to get them redone every two to four weeks, and this is known as a “fill,” which is a touch up to fix any lashes that fallen out and to make them look nice again. However, the constant “fill” to get them redone can get pricey and the costs add up fairly quickly. Luckily, with Kelly's reasonable price it makes it easier to maintain this luxury of wanting to look good and attracts clients.
I first found Kelly's business through a friend who gave me the suggestion of who to write this paper on. I always wanted to get extensions on my lashes but felt like I could never afford the price to get them done or to keep them maintained. Kelly came to the rescue! Kelly's has a range for the type of lashes shes uses on clients. Her lashes are faux minx and synthetic real hair. The style she does is either voluminous for people who want to add volume to their lashes, or ‘classic” for a natural or less showy look. She uses a glue to apply the lash which lessens the chance of possible irritation or reaction her clients could face when getting them done. Her website (http://kbarlolong.wixsite.com ) showcases all her work, from lashes to makeup, and where clients can connect with her to make appointments or ask any questions. Her passion for makeup has always been there as she grew up, and she took that and made it into a business beginning in 2011.
As of right now, Kelly is the sole employee of her business. She is able to be her own boss and manage all her clients. She always posts and promotes herself, as it helps boost her following and attracts new clients. The future for Kelly is endless; her business continues to grow and flourish. She is a well-managed boss who has a strong work ethic, and it clearly shows in her work. I have no doubt that Kelly will become even bigger to the public in the coming years continuing her work doing a business that she loves.
Having the chance to interview Kelly opened up my eyes to this industry since I normally only see what the public puts out and not what happens behind the scenes. I am glad I was given this opportunity to divulge into something I am interested in as a hobby and makeup enthusiast. I could potentially see my path taking me to work in this business as an owner, or as someone who runs a company who specializes in this industry. I do not have the work ethic to personally do the makeup, but being able to run a business and work in the industry is a goal of mine. I feel like if I were given the chance to work in the business side of the makeup and the cosmetic industry, it would be a blessing because my passion for it would never run out. Since I am already passionate about this industry, I can only imagine what I could do with a business to run. To be cliche, the possibilities are endless, but being able to learn what it truly is like to run a business was about as difficult as I expected. However, the challenge and opportunity to work in an industry I am passionate about would drive me to work hard every day.
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